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Wednesday, May 18, 2011


I've had a perilous last couple of days--non-performing students seemingly destined to never rise above a failing grade and the resultant parental response. Fortunately I can count my "parent encounters" on four fingers. Once in NJ my job teetered (not really) on the fact that I'd shown a Reading Rainbow video entitled "On the Day You Were Born" to a group of kindergarten kids--we'd been focusing for a couple of weeks on birthdays which as you know is probably THE biggest thing in a kid's life. I was called to the office to encounter a mother who was somewhat fraught over her wee daughter's reaction to the birth depicted in the video. "I'M NEVER GOING TO DO THAT!" ba-dump-dump You can imagine the mileage my fellow teachers got out of that episode. Losing a job over Reading Rainbow? Really?... another time a man stormed into my classroom and made vile threats directed to the school board, superintendant, and myself--once again prompted by his low-performing daughter. And then this week...a couple of parents, accusations, true confessions I really DIDN'T need to hear ("I told ______'s dad that his new wife must be carrying his male parts around in her purse!" "I've been having depression.") These sessions obviously call upon my fine-tuned (yeah, right) counseling skills I offer tissues and feeble advice. Simple solution: kid hands in homework; kid passes class; everybody skips off into the sunset.
Then yesterday I had what might be termed my first "Meltdown". Some of the kids wanted to sneakily study for their social studies test. Silly me wanted to discuss "Dead Poets Society". So I stomped back to my desk and granted them that time. "Obviously THAT is more important than ANYTHING I would ever teach!!!!!!!" I was ticked. We sat in silence. Then a sweet little girl walks back and hands me a note: Could some of us go out in the hall and discuss "Dead Poets Society"? So we did--about 12 of us--on the floor. They're awesome. Later I found a teeny little piece of paper on the floor which said: If we keep talking about the movie it might make Mrs. Hadd feel better. Aren't they cute? Some of them, some of the time.
This time of year becomes a badly-run marathon. Low tolerance levels. Poor poor work ethic. I'm rising Phoenix-like above it all today and flying away to Denver to tweak cheeks. A coward's way out you ask? Ah...most assuredly...


Noelle said...

OHhhh auntie M, I love you

Patti said...

Hah! You're Auntie M! I love it! (although it immediately conjures up a green face and a sarcastic voice). If it's any consolation I think parents that blame teachers for their kids' problems are irresponsible. I didn't realize the psycho-babble you had to deal with. Thank you, great teachers everywhere!

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley